Daily Content Archive

(as of Wednesday, July 29, 2015)
Word of the Day

gastropod

Definition:(noun) Any of various mollusks of the class Gastropoda, such as the snail, slug, cowrie, or limpet, characteristically having a single, usually coiled shell or no shell at all, a ventral muscular foot for locomotion, and eyes and feelers located on a distinct head.
Synonyms:univalve
Usage: The sound of a shell crushing beneath his foot told him that he had just caused a gastropod's demise.
Daily Grammar Lesson

"Wh-" Questions

"Wh-" questions (or "question word questions") are questions that seek information by posing a question with a "wh-" question word ("who," "what," "where," "when," "why," and "how"). What kind of answer do these questions seek? More...
Article of the Day

Fenugreek

Fenugreek, known also as Methi, is a crop plant grown as a potherb and for the spice made from its seeds. It grows wild from the eastern Mediterranean area to China and is used in a wide variety of foods there. Fenugreek seeds are widely used as a milk producing agent by nursing mothers and recent experiments indicate it may be a useful tool in the fight against cancer and diabetes. In 2009, fenugreek was discovered to be the source of what kind of smell wafting over New York City? More...
This Day in History

Discovery of Dwarf Planet Eris Is Announced (2005)

Though Eris was first photographed in 2003, scientists working at the Palomar Observatory did not realize that they had captured pictures of a previously unknown planet until re-analyzing the images in 2005. That year, news of the newly discovered planet was announced. Slightly larger than Pluto, the icy dwarf planet has its own moon, Dysnomia, and is one of the most distant objects in the solar system. Before its official naming in 2006, it was popularly known by the name of what TV character? More...
Today's Birthday

Ken Burns (1953)

Burns is an acclaimed American director and producer of lengthy historical documentaries. Known for his extensive use of archival footage and photographs, he is considered one of the most influential documentarians in the US. His films have been among public television's most-watched programs, and include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War, and The National Parks. The Civil War is considered to be his masterpiece. What is the "Ken Burns Effect"? More...
Quotation of the Day
Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Idiom of the Day

hunt where the ducks are

To pursue or look for one's objectives, results, or goals in the place where one is most likely to find them. More...
Today's Holiday

St. Olav's Day (2020)

St. Olav is the patron saint of Norway, and the anniversary of his death is still marked by religious services, fireworks, and public merry-making. Every year the battle in which he died is reenacted during the St. Olav Festival in Trondheim. In the Faroe Islands, this is known as Olavsoka, or "St. Olav's Wake," a national holiday. Parliament opens on the 29th, but the festivities—which include dancing, sports events, speeches, drinking, and a parade of members of Logting (parliament)—begin the night before and continue into the early hours of the 30th. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: news

gazette - A gazzetta, a Venetian coin of little value, gave rise to the phrase gazzetta de la novita, "halfpennyworth of news," which eventually gave us gazette. More...

silly season - Any slow news period characterized by trivial news or no news. More...

tidings - Probably comes from Old Norse tithindi, "news of events." More...

report - To report something is etymologically to "carry it back," from Latin reportare; the metaphorical sense of "bringing back news" also developed in Latin. More...

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